PKR insists Anwar its PM candidate, tells party reps in Pakatan Council to obey decision

Yiswaree Palansamy


PKR president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim leaves after the Central Leadership Council meeting at the party’s headquarters in Petaling Jaya January 18, 2020. ― Picture by Ahmad Zamzahuri

PETALING JAYA, Jan 18 — The PKR’s Central Leadership Council (MPP) today reiterated its selection of party president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim as the next prime minister candidate.

It also urged all PKR representatives in the Pakatan Harapan (PH) Presidential Council to hold on to the same decision.

In a press conference here, party secretary-general Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution Ismail said that an unanimous decision on the matter was already made in January last year, and it must be adhered to.

“I also want to say that the MPP today had also discussed matters relating to the [power] transition, especially since this week, many parties gave their views. So the MPP has discussed in great length, and the following is the MPP’s stand taken today.

“The MPP reiterates the decision made by the political bureau, by the MPP and also by the party congress, in regards to the position of Anwar, as the PKR’s candidate and also PH’s prime minister candidate, as per how it was decided, as per recorded consensus on January 6, 2018.”

 “Who from Keadilan is the candidate? It is Anwar. Has it already been suggested to PH? Already done. Was it agreed upon? Yes. Has it already been signed? Yes. When? January 6, 2018, which was already tabled in the PH Convention,” Saifuddin said.

The current PKR representatives in the PH Presidential Council are Anwar, Saifuddin, PKR deputy president Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali, PKR advisory council chief Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, and vice-presidents Tian Chua, and Dr A. Xavier Jayakumar.

“The PKR Central Leadership Council meeting today has decided that all six of our representatives must speak in one voice on the issue of transition,” he told reporters after PKR’s Central Leadership Council (MPP) meeting at PKR headquarters here.

Saifuddin, however, said that PKR would not force its choice on its PH coalition members, apart from reaffirming what was initially agreed on in previous discussions.

This includes the timeline for the much talked about power transition from Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad to Anwar.

On Tuesday, Dr Mahathir said he has no issue with stepping down as prime minister and letting Anwar take over, should that the consensus among PH’s Presidential Council.

He had previously said that he would pass the baton to Anwar but not before the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) summit that Malaysia will host in November.

Pakatan had worked out the succession plan before the 14th General Election in May 2018 but had never settled on a timeline for it.

On Monday, several PKR lawmakers pushed for a firm date for the power transition from Dr Mahathir to Anwar in May this year.

In a forum titled “Should Malaysia wait until November for transition?” in Bangsar, Subang MP Wong Chen, Setiawangsa MP, Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad, Tanjung Malim MP, Chang Lih Kang and Selayang MP, William Leong all said that Dr Mahathir should give more time to Anwar in order to stabilise the country.

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